I have to preface this report from www.wateronline with a comment that things are never quite as they seem.

Drinking tap water provides the same health benefits as taking homeopathic medicine, according to a recent report in Consumer Affairs.

“It is no exaggeration to say that a glass of tap water from a random American public water supply probably contains higher levels of active medical ingredients than any bottle of ‘homeopathic medicine’ on the market,” the article said.

The reasoning in the report is that tap water contains traces of antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones,” as the article put it, citing an AP investigation. Although this fact is often counted as a criticism against tap water, the report framed it as evidence tap is more curative than homeopathic medicine.

“Tap water containing drugs measured in parts per billion or even parts per trillion still contains far more actual drugs than most homeopathic remedies,” the Consumer Affairs piece said.

Ian: Yes, and God only knows what their combined effect may be!

Tap water advocates argue that there are few sound health reasons to drink bottled water.

“Bottled water in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer,” the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services says. “Bottled water often comes from the same public water supplies as tap water, but is regulated under lower quality standards.”

The office points out that drinking bottled water is costly.

“Consuming the daily fluid requirement (10 cups) would cost approximately $1,764 per person annually,” it said.

In areas where tap water is fluoridated, it may have an added benefit for the teeth.

Ian: And keeping your kids in lower grades!

“Another concern [about bottled water] is the lack of fluoride in bottled water for dental health,” the office said. “Most tap water sources, however, do contain the optimal concentration of fluoride that is recommended for preventing tooth decay.”

The Centers For Disease Control make the same point.  “Bottled water may not have a sufficient amount of fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay and promoting oral health,” they say.

In the U.S., tap water is regulated more tightly than bottled water.

“Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” according to Nancy Hearn on her site Water Benefits Health. “Even though the FDA standards for bottled water are similar to EPA standards for tap water, the FDA is years behind in their inspections.”

Ian: Man, what a piece of work by some PR wonk! 

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